Spring has sprung and even though the Western Cape is experiencing serious water restrictions and anxiously waiting for rain, you can still achieve a lot in your garden, without wasting our most precious resource! Here’s some of our top ideas:
SPOTLIGHT ON: TREES
Celebrate Arbour Week in September by planting a tree in your garden. Here’s our top tips:
Focus on waterwise varieties and consider your needs: do you want evergreen foliage, shade or a tree that will attract birds to your garden?
Buy a tree that is free of any signs of pests or fungal diseases.
Avoid long, spindly trees. Rather choose a shorter tree with sturdy lower branches: it will be less likely to topple over once you plant it.
Handle your new tree carefully: don’t pick it up by the trunk and provide some barrier protection when transporting it so that it doesn’t get “wind burn”.
When you plant:
ON YOUR TO-DO LIST FOR SEPTEMBER
Plant A Drought Resistant Garden:
Let’s face it, winter has been really tough in the Western Cape. Water restrictions have seen many plants and lawns die, even during the (slightly) wetter winter months… What to do?!
Our advice? Where plants have died, fill the gaps with Waterwise plants, and if you’re planting new beds or designing a new garden, we’d strongly recommend planning a drought-resistant garden so you don’t waste money on greenery that simply isn’t designed to thrive in dry conditions.
Waterwise plants to add to your nursery shopping list;
Succulents, fynbos, buchu, lavender, air plants, aloes or clivias
For all the urban farmers out there, try saving water by growing your veggies and herbs in containers – that way you can control your water usage and not lose moisture unnecessarily.
Vegetables on your September growing list: beetroot, celery, corn, cucumber, brinjal, lettuce, melons, parsnip, peppers, potatoes, radish, tomato and watermelon.
In times of drought, it’s important to make sure your plants are getting the nutrients they need, so we’d suggest feeding your plants the following:
OTHER FRESH IDEAS
Grow your own: Parsley
Think of parsley, and you’ll probably think of an everyday garnish and seasoning that’s amazing to add to most dishes, so make sure you never do without it! This hardy little herb is super easy to grow and is rarely affected by disease although aphids do love to much it, so keep an eye out for the little beasts! Plant seedlings in organic-rich, well-drained soil and ensure it gets full sun to partial shade. Then just let them be, as they are low-maintence and, if you mulch regularly, will need little more than an occasional watering and weeding, once established.
Herb of the month: Rosemary
Rosemary is one of the easiest herbs to grow. It is incredibly hardy and will thrive as long as you plant it in a sunny spot where the soil drains well. In fact, the Latin generic name Rosmarinus means “dew of the sea” due to the fact that it often grows along the coast.